Two of Napalm Records’ hottest newer signings decended on the O2 Institute in Birmingham the other night, midway through their massive UK tour. The two fun, parody metal bands, Tragedy and Nanowar of Steel, are both touring off their first major release with the label earlier this year, and it’s safe to say they tore the roof off the place!
Surprisingly, our friends in Nanowar of Steel went on first. Opening on new, pirate-metal hit ‘Sober’, things soon took a great turn into silly with the likes of ‘Call of Cthulhu’ and ‘Il Cacciatore Della Notte’. For a smaller venue and I’d imagine a smaller budget, the show they put on was off the charts. From costume changes, inflatables thrown into the crowd and the smoke pyro stuff bands use nowadays, it all made for one hell of a show. Heck, for set closer ‘Valhalleluja’ they even built a flat-pack table and passed it around the crowd! Between that and them encouraging a George Michael style wall of love, it was a hell of a lot of fun.
It’s easy to look at the comedy and the stage-show and overlook just how phenomenal they are as musicians, but they are exactly that. Every single of of them plays their parts perfectly, with some great riffs, insane solos and some of the best, most varied vocals around today. From the soaring vocals of ‘Disco Metal’ to the heavier screaming elements of ‘Armpits of Immortals’ to the rapping in crowd favourite ‘Norwegian Reggaetion’, there was a bit of everything! And the new album tracks sounded so good and went down a storm, too. I know we reviewed it very highly, and I honestly think it’ll be the album to push them into the big leagues globally.
We even had the chance for a quick chat with bassist Gattopanceri666 before the show. Check out what we talked about below:
How’s the tour going?
‘It’s been for a while now, yeah. I would say pretty good, I would say about half of the shows sold out. Apart from the UK, the UK sucks..! I’m kidding of course!
And how’s the album gone down?
‘It’s going well! People seem to know the songs. They’ve watched the videos. They buy it at the merch table and online and wherever else they can check it out. I think it’s good. We’re happy about it. What else could we expect? I mean, we could sell more, I guess!
Have you got a favourite track from it?
‘I think you’ll see tonight. The three that we have been playing are the ones that we like the most! It’s not hard to guess, they’re the recent singles!’
And should we be expecting any surprises tonight?
‘Of course not! I don’t know. it’s the first time we’re playing here so I guess anything we do is going to be different from anything you’ve ever seen!’
Yeah, you guys only did Bloodstock before the tour, right?
‘Yeah, this is our first real UK tour. Before this we only played Bloodstock once last year. So we really don’t have any past history in the UK’.
If you want more of Nanowar interviewing, check out our sit-down with guitarist Mohammed Abdul from a couple of months ago below!
Next up were the headliners of the evening. The worlds greatest all-metal tribute to the Bee Gees and disco as a whole, Tragedy. Having seen them before years ago at Glastonbudget and being a fan of them ever since, I was excited to see them again!
They were very good at what they do. Their adaptations of artists like The Pointer Sisters and ABBA sound just as good live as they do on track. And all of them are far better at their chosen instruments than I’m sure they will be given any credit for. And every single one of them is hugely charismatic up on the stage.
Yet still, something felt a little off for me…
I don’t know if it was the constant, over the top sex talk (it felt a little budget Steel Panther, especially when getting the women up on stage at the end) or the fact that a covers band went on after an originals one, or the fact that they played like 18 songs, but something felt deflating. They played amazingly and put on a great show as well as playing plenty of songs I loved. I should have enjoyed it, but I came away feeling a little less joyous than when Nanowar left the stage.
Overall, I had a fantastic night, and still thought both bands did one hell of a job. The crowd loved it from start to finish and I can’t blame them at all. I was probably just tired from getting lost in Birmingham not once, but twice! I would highly recommend seeing both bands, whether you’re into metal or comedy music at all. They both put on that great of a show that you could find something to enjoy no matter what!